Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art

It is interesting to know how messages are embedded in an imCongratulatory Snuff Bottleage. Chinese words are evolved from pictorial representation. And the Chinese language has more words than sounds, so one sound can mean several things (homonym).

It is Chinese custom that one do not talk about one’s gift to another party. Example a congratulatory is embedded in a gift with this images; a monkey on a horseback and bees flying around. The homonym for monkey (猴 = 侯) is marquis or high official; on horseback (马上) means immediate; and bee (蜂=封) means sealed or granted. The deciphered code means马上封侯congratulation on the immediate promotion. With this understanding, one can derived that the purpose of this snuff bottle is meant to be a gift for someone working in imperial court.




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